28 Inches of Snow Could Hit Area
Citizens in the D.C. area have been getting an early start to prepare for this weekend’s snow storm as well as the Super Bowl. With forecasts predicting more than two feet of snow, sales of basic food items and tools such as shovels and snow blowers have risen considerably this week, store managers report.
“The basics like milk, bread, butter and eggs have, of course, been selling like crazy,” said Jack Eaton, manager of the Giant supermarket at 1345 Park Road N.W.
Eaton says that the traffic in the supermarket has tripled, but the food supply is still good. However, the supplies of shovels and rock salt are a different story.
“We sold our last bag of rock salt at 11 a.m. this morning,” he said. “Our last shovel was sold yesterday at noon.” Today, the store has put in an order for more rock salt as well as one for more shovels. The shipments are expected to arrive later tonight or early tomorrow morning.
Joe Trotter, general manager of the True Value hardware store at 1623 17th St. N.W., says that the store has also experienced a higher volume of customers throughout the week.
“We are all out of salt, shovels and sleds,” Trotter says. In addition to all of the sold-out items, Trotter says the customers have been buying snow blowers — an item that is still in stock. “We are hoping to have another shipment tomorrow to replenish everything that we do not have.”
Kevin Witt, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service, urges residents to stock up on two to three days of supplies including shovels and products to melt snow and ice.
Witt says that a winter storm warning is in effect from 6 a.m. Friday to 10 p.m. Saturday and that residents in the D.C. metro area should expect 20 to 28 inches of snow.
Unlike the Dec. 19 blizzard, this storm will bring heavy wet snow that will freeze as the temperature drops, making it even harder to shovel. The snowfall in December averaged 15 inches and reached about 25 inches that evening in parts of Montgomery County.
The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority plans to suspend above-ground Metro rail service if the snow is at least 8 inches high.
As part of Giant’s contingency plan to keep the store running as smoothly as possible during the snow storm, Eaton says that he has increased staffing and reserved hotel rooms nearby for workers who have longer commutes.
“Our goal is to remain open later,” Eaton says. “We’re just trying to serve the community in this time of emergency the best way we can.” Eaton’s store usually closes at 11 p.m.
Dominick Jacobs, an employee at Florida Avenue Grill who moved here from Milwaukee, Wis., four and a half years ago, said, “This has probably been the worst winter I’ve seen since I’ve been in D.C.”
Jacobs said that the snow removal is too slow in the District and said that the response time is much quicker in Milwaukee.
Valerie Howard, a student at Howard University, also complained about snow removal and salting. Howard attributes her limp to slipping and falling on icy surfaces during previous snow storms.
If snow accumulates as expected, Jacobs will make it in to work at the restaurant, which is near his home, but he expects business to be slow.
However, another Washington resident, Daniel Batts, plans to stay inside and play video games, while others gear up for the Super Bowl game between the New Orleans Saints and the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday.
Reporting by Nicole Austin, Phillip Lucas, Nikole L. Pegues, Zaria Poem and Zelena Williams. Check back periodically for weather and other news updates.